Ken Tucker
November 01, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Frontline: Don King, Unauthorized

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
Don King
Drama, Sports

We gave it an A

Investigative reporter Jack Newfield has written this tremendously entertaining and dismaying report on Don King, from his early days as a numbers runner in Cleveland to his rise as boxing’s most flamboyant and powerful promoter. Newfield and cowriter Charles Stuart do their best to nail down the truth behind all the rumors and legends that have swirled around King ever since he began promoting fights in the early ’70s. Frontline: Don King, Unauthorized explores King’s 1966 murder conviction (the charge was later reduced to manslaughter) and his ties to organized crime.

Newfield feels that, in his various and often conflicting roles as promoter, manager, and media figure, King has organized ”a monopoly that keeps fighters from earning the most money they’re capable of earning.” We even learn the origin of King’s finger-in-the-light-socket hairstyle: Apparently we must blame King’s close friend, the great rock and soul performer Lloyd Price (”Stagger Lee”), who takes full credit for encouraging King to adopt this ‘do as his trademark.

Don King, Unauthorized is terrific muck-raking reporting. A

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